Skydive over Fox Glacier - New Zealand

Trip Start Jan 15, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, April 29, 2011

For five hours we drove 285km north from Lake Wanaka past Haast, using the Haast Pass and Highway 6 along the west coast, until we reached Fox Glacier by midday.

It was our plan to skydive the day after but after arriving early and seeing that the weather was perfect there was no time like the present to jump out of a plane!

We had a quick safety check, practiced the banana pose that you have to adopt when skydiving, put our parachute packs on and the next thing we were 12,000 feet above Mount Cook and Fox Glacier.

As soon as the side door opened on the tiny one seater plane it was time! The feeling of falling at 200 kph from a plane for 45 seconds cannot be beaten. The first 5-10 seconds was like being in a washing machine as we tumbled out the plane. The sound of the air passing our ears was deafening, and seeing the sky and ground stretch for miles was amazing to see. Once we had fell to 4,000 feet the parachutes opened and we gently fell to the ground for five minutes taking in the awesome scenery of Mount Cook, the glaciers and the Tasman Sea.

We have photos up to the point we jumped out the plane but none during our freefall or parachuting. Unfortunately you will have to wait until we get back to watch our skydive videos and see our faces as we dropped 4.2km.

After our amazing skydive we drove to Lake Matheson, 2km away from Fox Glacier town, and walked around the lake contemplating what we had just done.

The next morning we walked up to the terminal face of Fox Glacier. The shear size of the valley was deceptive. The glacier looks extremely small, but is in fact 9km long. It took us a while to reach the face. Whilst walking back to our campervan there were loads of sand flies attacking us. We squashed loads but the bites itched lots, much worse than mosquito bites.

We told the women behind the counter at the local shop in Fox Glacier town about the sand flies. She told us that the best way to get rid of them is flick them away and not squashed them. She said more will come as they can smell the bladder of the dead sand fly. Also avoid wearing dark clothes. We on the other hand squashed them and wore dark clothes, so no wonder they kept attacking us.

That afternoon we drove 30 minutes towards Franz Josef where we had another walk to another glacier.

Fox Glacier byla dalsi zastavka na nasi cesto po Novem Zeladu a take misto, kde jsme chteli skocit padakem. Prijeli jsme sem kolem obeda po peti hodinach v aute a nase prvni zastavka vedla do agentury, pres kterou jsme si zamluvili skok padakem na druhyn den. Chteli jsme se ujistit, ze je vse ok, ale oni nam rekli, ze muzem jit na skok ted hned, jelikoz bylo nadherne pocasi a meli volne misto.

Mozna bylo dobre, ze vsechno slo tak rychle, jelikoz nebyl cas si to rozmyslet. Po kratke ukazce ohledne bezpecnosti jsme nasedli do maleho letadla a zhruba po dvaceti minutach jsme byli ve vysce 4.2km. Cely let jsme meli uzasny vyhled, z jedne strany jsme meli Tasmanske more a na druhe strane ledovce a nejyvssi horu Mt. Cook. Ja jsem skakala jako prvni a kdyz se otevreli dvere ani jsem nemela cas se podivat na Philippeho (nebo si to na posledni chvili rozmyslet) a uz jsme padali dolu. Prvni tri vteriny jsme si rikala do ….., co jsme to udala, ale pak se ten pocit zmenil a ja jsem si uzivala volenho padu. Po 45 sekundach se otevrel padak a my jsme dalsich zhurba 1.2 km padali pomalinku dolu a uzivali jsme si neskutecny vyhled na cele okoli. Oba jsme se shodli, ze to byl jeden z nejvetsich zazitku nasi cesty.

Kdyz jsme rozdychali skok padakem , jeli jsme k jezeru Matheson, ktere je zhruba 10 minut od Fox Glacier. Jezero je oblibenou turistickou zastavkou, jelikoz se vam zde naskytne nejkrasnejsi pohled na jizni Alpy a Mt. Cook, ktery se odrazi od hladiny jezera.

Druhy den jsme vyrazili k ledovci Fox Glacier, ktery je dlouhy 13km a je tudiz nejvetsim ledovcem na Novem Zelandu. Zasli jsme pouze k celu ledovce, jelikoz dal se bez pruvodce nedostanete a pote jsme vyrazili do vesnicky Franx Josef Glacier, kde nas druhy den cekal vyslapt na Franx Josef ledovec.
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